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Taking Custody Matters into Your Own Hands Can Have Serious Consequences

When a court issues an order for visitation and timesharing of children, it is common for one or both parents to be dissatisfied with some aspect of the parenting time arrangement. Even if you both agree to the arrangement at the time of the custody case, circumstances may change and may lead to conflicts regarding the custody and visitation schedule. In such cases, you may be able to request that the agreement be modified to better suit changed circumstances. This process can take time, however, and many parents may be tempted to take the matter into their own hands. Doing so can have serious consequences from the court, however, including fines or even jail time.

The following are some examples of actions you should never take on your own regarding child custody:

  • Withholding visitation or custody rights if the other parent fails to pay child support.
  • Refusing to adhere to the visitation schedule in the parenting plan. This includes both refusing to turn the children over to the parent during their allotted time as well as failing to take the children for your own visitation time.
  • Taking the children during the other parent’s custody time.

Even if you believe that the other parent is not fit to be alone with the children, you should still not refuse to follow a custody order. Instead, you can file an emergency motion with the court if you believe that the safety or wellbeing or your children is in jeopardy. If the other parent is refusing to comply with the custody order, you should file a motion with the court to enforce the order. The court can then issue sanctions if they still refuse to obey the order. Finally, if the custody arrangement is not working for you, you should request a modification from the court.

The one time you should act on your own is if your children disappear from your home during your parenting time. In such a situation, you should first call the authorities before the court. In a recent case out of Florida, two children who were in the custody of their grandparents disappeared from the home. An Amber Alert was issued and, later that day, authorities found the children with their mother in a motel room. The mother was then arrested and may be facing criminal charges of interference with custody or even more serious charges.

Consult With a Qualified Boca Raton Child Custody Lawyer as Soon as Possible

Whether your ex-partner is refusing to agree to with the custody agreement or you want the arrangement changed for your own benefit, you should never try to solve custody matters without the approval of the courts. Violating a court order can result in serious consequences, even if you believe you are acting in the best interest of your child. Instead, you should contact an experienced family law attorney in Boca Raton who can help you explore your options to resolve your custody conflict. Please call the law offices of Alan R. Burton at 954-229-1660 for help today.